“Hub” work finally begins at church

“Hub” work finally begins at church

By Michael Upton | 28/06/2021

“Hub” work finally begins at church


IT has been more than 20 years in the making, but a church’s prayers for a new community hub are finally on the way to being answered.

Work on the long-awaited new facilities at St Thomas’ Church in Kilnhurst is underway, with a sod-cutting ceremony on Tuesday officially marking the beginning of the building project.

Fundraising for the annexe began at the turn of the century but has only now reached the level needed to make the plans — including a meeting room, kitchen and toilet facilities — a reality.

The Vicar of Kilnhurst, Rev Andy Brewerton, launched a Buy a Brick fundraising drive back in 2010 and was delighted to see the first bricks finally being laid.

“It has taken about £250,000 but we have made it over the line,” he said.

“We got a little bit more funding every year and it’s a little while before you can press the go button.

“The project goes back to before my time to the time of Vicar Nigel Elliott, my predecessor.

“It was a Millennium project in 1998 or ‘99 — the church said they wanted more facilities and they started dreaming about what they could do.

“They did some sketches and started some fundraising — when I arrived here, there was about six or seven thousand pounds, so it’s about a 20-year timescale.

“It’s going to make such a difference for our own activities and for the whole community to have a building they can use. We are really keen to support the community as we see ourselves as the church of the community. We are really excited.”

The brick sponsorship scheme reached the £25,000 target a few years ago and had a multiple purpose, Andy said.

“It was really just to help people get the concept of what we were doing, and if they could do their bit, it would make a statement,” he said.

“The major funders don’t really look at a project until you have got funding in place.

“It also gives people a sense of ownership.

“A lot of people in the church family have had bricks and everyone has got a certificate.”

Asked how the plans had evolved since they were first drawn up, he added: “If anything over time, the kitchen area has got bigger.

“We find doing meetings with food is a popular thing to do. We have a lunch club and events that involve having food together, but we have not had a proper place to prepare that food on-site so it has been prepared elsewhere.

“It will be a wonderful thing and a real joy for the people involved to have a kitchen on-site.”

Andy said the hope was that the works could be completed in time for Christmas, adding: “It is a local contractor called Misura and they have been really accommodating. We don’t have a definite finish date, but they will work really hard to finish it for us in time for Christmas.”